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    Marines Bring Music to the Schools

    US Marine Band Music in the Schools Program

    Photo By Gunnery Sgt. Amanda Simmons | GySgt Alan Prather performs for the U.S. Marine Band's Music in the High Schools...... read more read more



    Story by Gunnery Sgt. Amanda Simmons 

    "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band

    WASHINGTON - Each year throughout February and March, the Marine Band presents its Music in the High Schools educational program throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

    These presentations are designed to entertain and challenge high school level musicians participating in band, orchestra, or choral programs. The presentations by brass quintet, jazz combo, and vocalists, include the opportunity for students to perform for the Marine musicians and receive valuable guidance on chamber music performance.

    This year, the brass quintet features works by Samuel Scheidt, Michael Kamen, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

    According to French horn player Master Sgt. Amy Horn, the goal of their program is to have students commit to playing everything on the sheet of music at 100 percent.

    “Music is limitless,” explains Horn. “There is always something more we can bring; therefore, we never stop growing. We provide the students with four ideas to take into the practice room: becoming familiar with the music and knowing the ‘road map’ of the piece; practice tools - slow practice and drilling difficult passages repetitively; challenging ourselves by practicing what we think we can’t do; and practicing fundamentals daily.”

    The Marine Jazz Combo program, featuring works by Dizzy Gillespie, Cal Tjader, and Rihanna, exposes students to multiple forms of the genre, including Latin jazz, fusion, and pop music. The ensemble also provides jazz students with a comprehensive listening resource to help expand their understanding of the genre.

    “Jazz is incredibly versatile music that encompasses styles from all over the world,” explains pianist Gunnery Sgt. AnnaMaria Mottola. “When you are a student in music programs in high school, you might be in concert band, orchestra, choir, or even jazz band. By listening to different styles of music, you can learn how your instrument fits in the styles that you like. Latin music is not a style that stays stagnant in a period of time, it is constantly evolving. All different styles coming from all over the world can influence
    the way you play your instrument. The more versatile you are, the more opportunities you will have to play music with people. We urge the students to listen to as many styles as they can, to broaden their musical vocabulary.”

    The Marine Band vocalists, baritone Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Bennear and mezzo-soprano Staff Sgt. Sara Dell’Omo, who are accompanied by pianist Gunnery Sgt. Russell Wilson, tailor their master classes for the specific needs of the choir they are working with. The program begins with a 15-minute recital, featuring Italian and French arias, German lieder, and Broadway and jazz standards. The group then transitions into an intensive coaching session.

    “Following the recital, we listen to what the school’s soloists and choir are preparing for upcoming competitions,” notes Staff Sgt. Dell’Omo. “We work with them on breath support, vocal production, and overall technique. We also discuss our career in music and advise the best path for the students to continue music education.”

    The Marine Band’s Music in the High Schools program is offered annually and reaches at least 1,500 students each year. Its sister program, Music in the Schools, is offered to local elementary schools throughout the month of October and reaches more than 8,000 students. To learn more about the Marine Band’s educational resources, visit:



    Date Taken: 03.01.2013
    Date Posted: 03.07.2013 15:36
    Story ID: 103084
    Location: WASHINGTON, DC, US 

    Web Views: 200
    Downloads: 0